Pay rise refusal angers MLCs

THE government's decision to deny the state's politicians an 8 per cent pay rise is set to be challenged in the Legislative Council.

Upper house members are furious all three political parties have ignored the Tasmanian Industrial Commission's ruling that the state's MPs - the lowest paid in the nation - should get a $10,000 increase to the base rate by January 1 next year. 

Rumney independent MLC Tony Mulder said yesterday he was ``exploring his options'' on introducing a private member's bill to enforce the Commission's ruling. 

``We have to accept the decision of the independent umpire,'' Mr Mulder said yesterday.

 ``I would be as supportive of the umpire's decision if he had suggested an 8 per cent cut to wages as I would be of an 8 per cent increase.''

Under the commission's recommendations, a backbencher and MLC's pay would rise from $118,466 a year to $128,000 which is still $5000 less than the amount the next lowest paid politicians in the ACT take home.

After the catch-up increase, parliamentarians' salaries would be adjusted in line with the state's Wage Price Index.

Premier Will Hodgman tabled the commission's report on Tuesday, at the same time as refusing to act on the recommendations for at least 12 months - a position supported by Labor and the Greens. 

The freeze follows three consecutive years of 2 per cent increases, after the previous government broke the link with Commonwealth politicians' wages to avoid a massive 38 per cent hike.

The issue was referred to the industrial tribunal last year, after the Legislative Council refused to accept the then government's proposal to link politicians' salaries with senior public servants.

MLCs do not want politicians to have any role in setting their own wages.

Tony Mulder

Tony Mulder

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